Mar 20, 2012

Lemon-ginger quinoa with chickpeas and kale

“It’s a bit like 70s vegetarian food.”

Hmmm, not the most ringing endorsement from my husband.  But then he added:

“But it’s really, really good.”

OK, that’s better. And really, 70s vegetarian food was kind of what I was going for. After I’ve been eating badly (in this case, too many tacos on my trip to Austin last week), I find myself craving a super “crunchy” meal – something simple and pure that carries absolutely no guilt. But of course, it also has to be delicious.

This comforting kale, chickpea and quinoa dish fits the bill. With these ingredients, it’s about as nutritious as it gets. And the lemon juice and zest ensure that it’s anything but bland.

Instead of 70s vegetarian, maybe I should call this a detox meal. Or does that sound so 2011?

In any case, I feel better already after eating this dish!

Lemon-Ginger Quinoa with Chickpeas and Kale

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
5-6 cups chopped kale
1½ cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup quinoa, rinsed if you don’t have the no-rinse variety
2 cups vegetable broth (recommend No-Chicken broth)
¼ cup lemon juice
Zest of one large lemon
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari (use gluten-free if you prefer)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven. Add onion and carrots, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper and sauté 3 minutes. Add the greens and cook another 4 or 5 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas, quinoa, broth, lemon juice, lemon zest, tamari and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serves 4

See more recipes: Entrees, Gluten-free, Vegan


  • Ruth Kurczewski

    So happy to have found your blog. Made the Chard with onions, garlic, currants, and pine nuts last night and loved it. Am eager to try this kale dish.

  • This looks so simple and delicious. I have recently fallen in love with kale, and I want to add fresh ginger to everything I cook. I will have to add this recipe to my “to do” list.

  • Linda hart

    My overwintered Kale has come back heartily this early Spring..(I live in the Mid-Atlantic) as have my Collards, so before I pull them to make room for this Spring’s seedlings, I am happy to enjoy them in this lovely light dish. Thanks

  • Janet

    Sounds delish! Great photo styling too! Love that tablecloth and the bright colors on this first day of spring.

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Janet, thanks for the photo compliment, I needed that!

  • Looks great! After reading about all the health benefits of quinoa I’ve been on the look out for new recipes! This ones sounds great!

  • My body craves this kind of food after vacations too. I’m going to Vegas this weekend so maybe this will be on my menu when I get back :)

  • Great photo says a lot. Dish looks so healthy.
    Cathy, thank you verymuch for dropping by my blog and leaving your comment on Mutter mushroom curry. Sorry for the confusion in the ingredients list it was 1/2 cup Tomato puree. Do you like Indian curries?
    Have a nice day

  • Lucy

    I made this for my fiance tonight – he loved it! I used a tbsp of ginger instead of the 2 tsp and some green onions for a bit more of Asian flair and I omitted the red bell pepper (I’m on the anti-inflammation diet and have to avoid per doctor’s orders). Thanks for posting the recipe!

  • Was delicious, thank you. I had enough leftovers of this dish that I ate it cold for lunch today and it tasted scrumptious!

  • whatwouldcathyeat

    Green onions sounds like a good addition. And I didn’t realize red bell peppers were inflammatory. Interesting.

  • Amber

    I made this for dinner last night and it was wonderful. So healthy and satisfying, can’t get much better than that. Thanks!

  • Janet

    fastastic (not a typo, it was so easy) and tasty, you’ve done it again!

  • Katherine

    Cooke this tonight and it was soooo YuMMY! Thank you :) I tagged you in my instagram photo – search me ‘wolfegirl1’

  • I found your site several months ago and this is one of the recipes I bookmarked right away. I regret that it took me this long to get to it, because it’s really delicious! Maybe not as delicious as your caramelized onion tart (which I made two days ago – you’re all over my menu this week!), but it gets bonus points for being so quick and easy!

  • Thanks, Kristin. I think I need to make this one again myself!

  • Harriet

    Delicious, thank you! Nicest Quinoa I have ever had and love that it’s vegetarian.

  • Mariella

    Hi Cathy and thank you for sharing this lovely recipe. I just cooked it and it is absolutely delicious.Thans

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